‘Shark Tank’ investor Daymond John has mentored and inspired many entrepreneurs.
But he thinks that in some ways, working for somebody else is harder than starting your own business.
When he stopped by Business Insider’s offices to talk about his latest project, subscription service Gillette Shave Club, he explained why.
“Entrepreneurship is great, and everyone talks about how difficult it is, but it probably is more difficult to be working for somebody,” he says. “You have to navigate all these sensitive individuals.”
He emphasises that he never looks down on people who choose to work for others rather than starting their own business, because in some cases, having a boss is a smart choice. For instance, “If you work for someone else, it may be a temporary thing while you’re gaining knowledge or contacts.”
John himself started out this way — while founding FUBU, he waited tables at Red Lobster. He made the most of the job by studying the company’s shareholder reports and figuring out how its business model worked.
He uses the term “intrapreneur” to describe people in a similar situation, who work for large companies but have a creative and innovative mindset, and believes they’re well-equipped to be successful. “You need to still have the mentality of an entrepreneur,” he says, “even if you work for someone else.”